A maverick detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful chronicler Dr John Watson return in twelve thrilling short stories.
The iconic duo find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events: an otherworldly stone whose touch inflicts fatal bleeding; a hellish potion unlocks a person’s devilish psyche; Holmes’s most hatred rival detective tells his story; a fiendishly clever, almost undetectable method of revenge; Watson finally has his chance to shine; and many more – including a brand-new Cthulhu Casebooks story.
A huge thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
I’m not sure if you will recall but in an earlier post I said I seem to have a hit-and-miss experience with James Lovegrove’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Last year I read Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon which I thoroughly enjoyed, but, unfortunately, this time round his book of short stories was a definite miss for me.
The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes started off strong and indeed had some very thrilling stories; however, after the fourth story it quickly lost my interest. I admittedly skipped a few stories after that after scanning the first couple pages and finding that it didn’t capture my full attention. Some of them were very bizarre and completely threw me. One story, which I skipped, was from the point of view of a dog and as much as I love dogs (really I do!), I didn’t want to read a story from the point of view of one. Another – The Affair of the Yithian Stone – was set in-between his Cthulhu Casebooks trilogy and since I’ve only read the first book in that trilogy and I didn’t enjoy it nor continue with the series, I wasn’t too interested in reading a short story written in the same world.
Despite not enjoying the latter half of the book, I really did enjoy the first four stories and the most interesting for me was The Strange Case of Dr Sacker and Mr Hope. I may be biased though because I read and enjoyed the original – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, where a scientist ends up creating a dual personality – one which is very good and the other which is shockingly evil. This short story follows much of the same premise but it was the ending that surprised me the most which is why I ended up liking it so much. Nothing is resolved and evil prevails – not something you see all the time in books and I liked that twist!
I’m really sad that I didn’t get along with this collection of short stories as much as I wanted to. There was some really unique stories but a lot of them were too bizarre for me and not what I wanted to read. However, that hasn’t put me off reading James’ future Sherlock stories as I have enjoyed his previous works.